Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween

I am wrestling with Halloween.  I have been for a while now. It is not an innocent holiday, especially for those with sensitive spirits. And when did having a sensitive spirit towards evil, scary things become a bad thing?

We took the girls trick or treating tonight. We were enjoying the neighborhood and time together. We were being cautious to avoid houses with scary decor and only visit ones with friendly front porches. Maleah was LOVING it. She did last year too.  She loves people and parities and candy. She loves meeting people and chatting with them and I am sure she enjoys how everyone tells her she is so cute.

We did a couple of streets, their buckets were pretty full and Reese was ready to be done. She really wanted to head home to pass out the candy.  But Maleah, well, she wanted the party to continue!  

So we dropped daddy and Reese back at home and Maleah and I continued on. She was pointing out the costumes she saw, seeing kids she knew from Reese's school.  She was so delighted with this event. And she was helping me choose which houses to go to based on their inviting or not so inviting front porches.

We came to a house, nicely  lighted and no decorations to avoid, in fact no decorations at all. I saw the old man notice us from the front office as Maleah climbed the front stairs on her own and I waited at the bottom. She excitedly knocked on the door and waited.

The door swung open and he jumps out with a scary mask on and screams at her!  Maleah's excitement turned to terror, she turned, jumped off the porch into my arms screaming and crying. And the man shouts "Careful on the stairs! Don't you want any candy?"  "Ummm not now!" I replied as I tried to console Maleah.

She was done. No more houses. I encouraged her to try one more, trying to end on a positive note because really up unto that house it had been a very positive night. She agreed to try one more, clung to my hand, hid behind my back in case it happened again. Thankfully it was a very sweet couple who came to the door. But Maleah's innocent joy for trick or treating was lost.

I do not understand seeing through your window a little girl in her costume come up your steps and think it would be fun to frighten her. (Yes, it is his house and we came to him and he can choose what is fun for him.) And yet there was not one single sign that it would be a scary house. 

Maleah says that she forgives him, that he is not a bad man. She struggled going to bed saying that she kept seeing that scary face over and over again.  Was the positive part of the night worth the risk we unknowingly took? I am not so sure. She had such joy over this event and now she will be cautious. That could be a good thing, Maleah is all to trusting some times. But it is so sad to me to see that innocent joy lost. And I will never understand scaring little kids. Makes.no.sense.to.me.at.all.

My heart is hurting for her. I could not protect her the way I wanted to. I thought we could pick out and avoid the dangerous houses. We.could.not. I felt so bad that I let this happen to her. And yet I know, I am not her only protector. She is God's child, and He loves her more than I ever will and protects her in ways that I never could. And He can use this for good, for protection in the future. I know these things are true and my heart still hurts as I think about the fear in her eyes and my inability to choose fun from frightful. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Girls Spa Day

Matt recently traveled to AZ for his company "family reunion" and so the girls and I were on our own for 5 days! So much easier now that they are 3 and 6, but we still very much miss having daddy around. The first day was rough...I was up at 3 am due to the wind....so about 9 on my first day flying sole I was ready for a nap! Luckily the girls were totally happy playing together at home that day.

I knew that would most likely not be the case two days in a row, so I declared Sunday to be our girls spa day. (And just naming it that made them happy/excited!) We started the day by teaching Sunday school together. Then we went to Target and they got to pick out a treat from the dollar section that was now 70% off so became the 30 cent section! :)

We had lunch, headed home to paint nails and have foot baths.


Next it was nap time and then we headed out for a scooter run/walk, because spa days include exercise too! And it was a perfect afternoon!


We made our own pizzas for dinner thanks to yummy ingredients from our new Trader Joes!


We ended our day with a girl movie together. It was a fun day! I look forward to doing these together each year as the girls get older!  And I loved how just calling it a spa day made it special. Think they will go for clean the house day? ;)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday morning hike

Yesterday we had weather like this:


And this morning it was cold, but bright and sunny! 
So we went for a family hike at the Red Rock Amphitheater 


Took us some walking to find the trail head. 
But once we did it was a beautiful hike! Reese insisted on being our trail guide. :)


Daddy hiked the whole way with Maleah on his back!
All three miles! Go Daddy! 


We only stopped a couple times for photo ops.


No snow on our trails, but still some in the foothills, makes for a pretty vista.


We all enjoyed hearing our echos hiking up the canyon.

video

We ended climbing up the amphitheatre stairs.....which is a site itself!
So many workout groups and people running up and down the stairs!

It was a fun family morning! So many places to explore outside here! :)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Two months already!

We have been in CO since July 1st....so really almost three months!  It still feels new and strange to be here and yet we are finding times that we are really enjoying ourselves as well.


See this great picture?  That is my new target to shop at.....the one closest to our home. It happens to be a super Target which makes for great one stop shopping.
But the reason for this picture is the big tall office building in the back of the parking lot. That is the home of Restoring the Soul ministries, where Matt and I came last November and where God started this whole adventure.

When we first looked at CO as a place to live we were looking all over the state. God used people to guide us to the area we are in now and He already knew "my target" would be in this parking lot. He put up an alter for us so we would continue to remember the work He started and wants to continue. I am amazed at His attention to detail. God knows just what we need. So many times already I have been feeling discourage/why are we here, and I will drive into that parking lot, be reminded and renew.

So many updates and things to share.....how about all the things we are loving about CO:

Family hikes! We have wonderful trails 5 minutes from our house now!


Reese LOVES her Kindergarten class, I like that it is part time so I still get her with me often! :)


The storms! Okay not that hail storm, but the afternoon thunder storms were fun!


Swimming! Outside! Walking from our house to the pool!


Fun new parks!


Swimming! Outside! :)


Kids eat free pizza nights! (Our whole family eats for only $10!)


The BIG sky and sunsets!


Enjoying swimming outside!! ;)


Rockies games for only $3 a person! :)


Cool creeks after runs!


Horse back riding!


Trail runs!


New festivals, well new to us anyways!


Big sky morning sunrises on runs from our house!



New frozen yogurt shop close to our house! 


Being able to walk Reese to school! (We shall see how we do in the snow....)


Still love starbucks dates!


Walking to the bakery to get a birthday cake!


What a CO cloudy day turns out to be!


So many fun parks just a short walk from our house!


The friendly school signs! :)


I have been doing a Beth Moore study on Deuteronomy at the church we are attending and have been finding it speak to our situation. Especially Deut 6:23 "And He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in and give us the land He swore to give to our fathers."  Looking forward to the process of being "brought in". :)

And just so you know, we.have.a.guest.room.with.its.own.bathroom! So come and visit us! Matt is having a friend visit this weekend and I am jealous!! :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Part three

Now we had one housing situation solved, but what about our home in Gig Harbor? We continued to pray that God would send us some folks to rent our house who would be as excited about our home as we were about our new Colorado home. We also prayed that they would have kids around the same ages as our neighbors (8,6,4,2). We placed the ad on Craigslist Sunday afternoon, and had several inquiries by Monday morning. After some prayer and a Skype session with our top choice, we had rented our house to a great young family, with a 9 year old girl, 5 year old girl and two year old boy. God answered quickly and specifically.

As the move drew closer, it was time to find someone to do the minor repairs, touch up work, and cleaning for our house. This shouldn't be a problem as through Matt's business he knew several folks for each position. But call after call ended badly. One contractor, after telling us he was in a slow time of business, delayed and delayed getting us his bid, then later told us he was too busy. Another was far too expensive. A third never called back. Then I read a post on Facebook that a young man from church was trying to find work to pay his way to Bible college in the fall. He'd clean (which we needed), he'd tend yards (which we needed), anything. We already knew his work first hand as he had done a wonderful job dog sitting for us before. We also knew his dad was a contractor previously, so we had them come over. They agreed to do all of the work, but wouldn't give us a bid, rather asking us to pray and simply give whatever we felt God wanted us to give. Immediately, the exact same number came to both our minds.  Now it again made sense why things had not worked out until this point.

So we are (mostly) packed. (Anyone know how to have all your clothes and sheets clean at the same time while still using them?) We have said some good-byes and have more good-byes to say. Saying our goodbye's has been hard, but has offered us a great opportunity to reflect upon what God has given us here. We know what we've got here. We're comfortable here. But God's greatest desire isn't our comfort. I feel there has been a pattern in my life of God taking people (who I LOVE to depend on, often too much) out of my life and showing me how He desires to be first and shows me that is what I really desire as well. With this move I am stepping out and saying, I will leave all these people I love behind and trust that you will continue to care for them and for me in new ways that will draw us all closer to you.

When I spend time with God, walking with Him this way is such a sweet place to be...... unsure of what is ahead, but excited and relaxed trusting His character and care that He has shown us so many times. When I panic, and think of all we are giving up to move this seems like a crazy/dumb thing to be doing.  I know what is true and I still fight with my own fear and worry.

God gently reminded us how important it was for Abraham to build alters along the way to remember and give thanks for what God was doing.  Hence the start to blogging again! So it's not over yet, and I hope to reflect on the process all along the way.  Thank you for taking the time to read what God is doing in our lives and for your encouragement!   I would be grateful to have that encouragement continue! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Part Two

So on New Year's Day, we flew back to Colorado, this time with the girls and this time with the intent of seeing if we could live here. Was this really God opening a door, or was this just us sensationalizing a week together?

Throughout the week, we both felt more and more like this was something God was offering to us. Not necessarily telling us to do, but offering that if we would trust Him, He'd have something great for us.(This song kept playing over and over in my head.) The process began with Matt looking for work.  He began calling Keller Williams offices from Colorado Springs up to Denver, and a call to the office in Highlands Ranch--the town where I have 3 college friends living--opened up more doors. A great group of Christian leaders were looking for another leader in their office, "I know this sounds crazy, but you were just the person we were praying for to fit into our office." Not sounding so crazy now....

From January to April, we were riding an emotional roller coaster. The excitement of the move was starting to wane as the realities of the move set in. How would we get our aging dog to make the move? Where would we live? What about Matt's business here? We were finally starting to make some great friends, was God really asking us to leave them?  As I studied the book of Genesis through BSF (bible study fellowship), story after story of picking up and leaving everything to follow God gave us confidence in what we were to do. God was being specific and speaking gently to us through the stories of Abraham, encouraging us to lean on Him and begin again in Colorado.

In April, our family dog of the past 13 years grew sick and we were faced with the painful decision to have him put down. We had kinda been hoping for this, knowing he would not be able to make the move but I'm not sure any of us were prepared for how hard that would be and how much that would affect us. But God was ready to bring us some joy.

We had recently studied the story of  Abraham's servant going to the well and praying specifically for God to show him the girl Issac was to marry (Genesis 24).  So we decided to pray specifically about the house we would rent.We prayed for a house in a great family neighborhood, in a location that would back to open space, that we'd be able to walk Reese to school, and be close to the community centers and parks. We prayed we'd have a big enough house that we could host friends and guests. We got specific.

That day after Seb died, with us feeling the pain, God made that house come available. I told Matt a house just showed up in the Ken Caryl area of Littleton, and it looked perfect. Matt called, left a message, and went to work.  The homeowner called back, said that 6 others were lined up to see it the next day, and asked if we could come. Matt was set to fly out on Tuesday (it was currently a Friday), so we couldn't, and he said it'd most likely be gone by Tuesday.

A few minutes later he called back, saying another out of state renter had offered to put down a deposit sight unseen, and he wanted to give me that opportunity. No thanks. Sounded like a scam. He encouraged Matt to look at his LinkedIn profile to assure us he was legitimate. Matt did, and was surprised to see he too was a Westmont graduate. A little more conversation and we discovered he works for the same company all our insurance is through. He also used to pastor with the man whom had counseled us back in November. My friend Janay graciously offered to go check out the home for us and take some more photos, and with her approval we agreed we'd move forward and commit sight unseen.

We applied, knowing that a commissioned real estate broker who didn't know a soul in Colorado probably wasn't the best looking tenant on paper. But we kept praying, and kept being specific. That Sunday, as we were preparing to teach Sunday school, the owner called, said he and his wife believed God wanted us to have this house!  We were so grateful and did a happy dance or two.....until we remembered we also needed to rent out our house........conclusion to come tomorrow.....if you are still interested. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Following God's call

Things have been changing in our family. We are moving soon, and wanted to share our story of how this came to be.......

Following God's calling is an amazing journey to be on. And, most of the time, totally unpredictable.

Back in November, we begrudgingly took a trip to Littleton, CO, for an intensive 2 week marriage counseling session. Matt didn't think this was the right thing for us to do. It was too long, too expensive, too personal, and the "wrong type" of counseling. I didn't want to go as it didn't seem fair or right for me to have to leave my kids for a full week to focus on Matt's issues.

The first week was a productive week for Matt, as he began to see himself in a new light and began to give up some of his self sufficiency for reliance on God. As I joined Matt for the 2nd week, it was clear Satan didn't want us there. Our first phone call home started with Reese excitedly talking about lots of blood and a slide and a trip to the ER. Turns out Matt's mom had cut her head on a slide at the park and earned herself some stitches.  I was done, ready to go home..... But I stayed.

The rest of the week was amazing. God broke through so many strongholds in our lives individually and as a couple, and so many truths were grasped and so many lies were released. It was a healing week beyond anything we could have experienced.

Shortly after returning home, I mentioned how much I loved Colorado...... could even imagine living there someday. Matt had been feeling the same. All of December we batted the idea back and forth and finally decided we needed to go back to Colorado to see it in a new way, maybe as our new home......(part 2 to come.....)